By Bill Wilson
Former White House Council of Economic Advisors head Christina Romer
apparently never thought the $800 billion “stimulus” that was supposed
to turn the economy around would work, a new book shedding light on the
early days of the Obama Administration says.
memo brought to light in “The Escape Artists” by Noam Scheiber shows
Romer originally proposed a spending plan that totaled $1.8 trillion,
but the figure was dismissed as politically infeasible by Larry
Summers, Director of the White House Economic Council. Romer came back
with a watered down proposal of $1.2 trillion, but that was left out of
the final proposal brought before Barack Obama himself.
Nonetheless, even though the final proposal was a full $1 trillion
short of what she thought would work, Romer penned the political
document that justified the $800 billion figure. Romer’s “The Job Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment” warned that “The recovery plan needs to be large to counter the tremendous job loss that is likely to occur.”
Based on her methodology, she wrote, “the package contains enough
stimulus that we can have confidence that it will create sufficient jobs
to meet the President-Elect’s goals.”
Then Obama was promising to “save or create” 3 million jobs, a
promise he fell way short of. Since he took office, the labor force
participation rate has dropped from 65.7 percent to 63.7 percent,
resulting in over 4.7 million people have been dropped out of the
civilian labor force.
In fact, there were almost 142.2 million people employed when Obama
took office. Now, that number dropped to a low of 137.9 million in Dec.
2009 and has only risen to 141.6 million since then. The economy is not
even keeping up with the growth of the population, let alone
reclaiming a single one of the lost 8 million jobs in this recession.
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